Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date



Educational technologies, assistive technologies, disabilities


Our fundamental sense of connectedness, our sense of well-being, is usually derived from the quality of interactions we have over time. We need to feel that we're connected with our environment and the people and information that we value. Assistive and educational technologies have already done much to eliminate the challenges and barriers posed by disabilities and they will be even more crucial to the educational and vocational success of this population from the boardroom to the classroom; in the community and in the home.

While there are many benefits to be gained by using assistive technologies, they have the potential to limit and isolate as well as enable, liberate, and connect their users. As paradoxical as it sounds, some ATs, particularly the very high-tech ones, can sometimes work against connectedness as they highlight a student's differences and set AT users apart as looking "different."


Originally presented at the 2004 Technology and persons with disabilities conference in Northridge, CA. Reprinted with author(s) permission. Author(s) retain copyright.